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Himalayan Snowcock

The Himalayan Snowcock (Tetraogallus himalayensis) is a snowcock in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.

It is endemic to the Himalayan Mountains, where it breeds at altitudes from 3600-5100 m on bare stony mountains. It nests in a bare ground scrape and lays typically 5-10 eggs, which are incubated only by the female. Both parents raise the young. Its food is seeds and vegetable matter. Himalayan Snowcock fly downslope in the morning and feed as they walk uphill as the day wears on. It forms small flocks when not breeding.

This is a 54-72 cm long bird. Its plumage is patterned with grey, brown, white and black, but this snowcock looks grey from any distance. The breast is pale with horizontal blackish streaking. This bird has a thin brown collar at the base of its white throat.

Himalayan Snowcocks have been introduced to the Ruby Mountains of northeastern Nevada in the United States where a small sustaining population of approximately 250-500 birds exists.


  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse by Madge and McGowan, ISBN 0-7136-3966-0
  • "National Geographic" Field Guide to the Birds of North America ISBN 0-7922-6877-6
  • Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol 2, Josep del Hoyo editor, ISBN 84-87334-10-5
  • "National Audubon Society" The Sibley Guide to Birds, by David Allen Sibley, ISBN 0-679-45122-6

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